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Sing for Better Memory with Mnemonic Devices


Sing for Better Memory

Being a student requires you to retain new information on a weekly basis. You need to rely on your memory and studying abilities to do well, and being a fast learner helps too. So what if you have a bad memory, and shoving more information in your head seems impossible? Well, do you remember the lyrics to songs and are able to recall them as the song plays on the radio? If so, then you may have found a great asset for absorbing new information for school…through song.

When I was in grade school one of my favorite learning tools, besides books, was the series, Schoolhouse Rock. I learned how to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, the names of the 50 states, and the process for creating a bill. The singing was a mnemonic device that aided in memory retention, and for a kid it made the process more fun.

There are more traditional mnemonic devices that are still relevant like:

  • ROY G BIV – The color spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, Violet)
  • King Philip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes – Taxonomy for Biology (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
  • HOMES – Five Great Lakes ( Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)

There are several more out there, and you can make up your own as well. For me, these work best when I fit them into a song. So the next time you’re struggling to remember the order of a set of equations, or series of events in a book, try adapting them into lyrics.

By: J. Mason